Does Cracking Your Knuckles Really Make Your Joints Swell?
March 21, 2016
I’ve been cracking my knuckles for as long as I can remember. It’s obviously not the best habit to have and I feel like I’m always being judged when I do it in front of other people. Many people say cracking knuckles will lead to arthritis and fatter fingers. Is this really true, though?
A bunch of studies show that cracking a joint doesn’t lead to arthritis. There is no direct correlation between people who have arthritis and those who crack their knuckles. However, if you do have arthritis/weakened joints and crack your knuckles, you can make the condition worse.
Your joints are surrounded by a membrane called synovial membrane, which forms a capsule around the end of your bones. The membrane contains synovial fluid that acts as a shock absorber and lubricant. When you crack your knuckles, it creates a gap that draws in the synovial fluid. This can cause your knuckles to swell over time, plus weakened hand strength.
Bottom line: cracking your knuckles isn’t directly associate to arthritis but it can lead to swelling.